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Autumn

by Anne Bradstreet

Anne Bradstreet, American poet, was born in Northhampton, England, in 1612, and died on September 16, 1672 in North Andover, Massachusetts. Bradstreet was the first woman to publish a book of poetry in America. The poems were published using an anonymous author, but it was widely known who the true writer was.

 

Of Autumn moneths September is the prime, 
Now day and night are equal in each Clime, 
The twelfth of this Sol riseth in the Line, 
And doth in poizing Libra this month shine. 
The vintage now is ripe, the grapes are prest, 
Whose lively liquor oft is curs'd and blest: 
For nought so good, but it may be abused, 
But its a precious juice when well its used. 
The raisins now in clusters dryed be, 
The Orange, Lemon dangle on the tree: 
The Pomegranate, the Fig are ripe also, 
And Apples now their yellow sides do show. 
Of Almonds, Quinces, Wardens, and of Peach, 
The season's now at hand of all and each, 
Sure at this time, time first of all began, 
And in this moneth was made apostate man: 
For then in Eden was not only seen, 
Boughs full of leaves, or fruits unripe or green, 
Or withered stocks, which were all dry and dead, 
But trees with goodly fruits replenished; 
Which shows nor Summer, Winter nor the Spring 
Our Grand-Sire was of Paradice made King: 
Nor could that temp'rate Clime such difference make, 
If cited as the most Judicious take. 
October is my next, we hear in this 
The Northern winter-blasts begin to hip, 
In Scorpio resideth now the Sun, 
And his declining heat is almost done. 
The fruitless trees all withered now do stand, 
Whose sapless yellow leavs, by winds are fan'd 
Which notes when youth and strength have passed their prime 
Decrepit age must also have its time.

The Sap doth slily creep toward the Earth 
There rests, until the Sun give it a birth. 
So doth old Age still tend until his grave, 
Where also he his winter time must have; 
But when the Sun of righteousness draws nigh, 
His dead old stock, shall mount again on high. 
November is my last, for Time doth haste, 
We now of winters sharpness 'gins to taste 
This moneth the Sun's in Sagitarius, 
So farre remote, his glances warm not us. 
Almost at shortest, is the shorten'd day, 
The Northern pole beholdeth not one ray, 
Nor Greenland, Groanland, Finland, Lapland, see 
No Sun, to lighten their obscurity; 
Poor wretches that in total darkness lye, 
With minds more dark then is the dark'ned Sky. 
Beaf, Brawn, and Pork are now in great request, 
And solid meats our stomacks can digest. 
This time warm cloaths, full diet, and good fires, 
Our pinched flesh, and hungry marres requires; 
Old cold, dry Age, and Earth Autumn resembles, 
And Melancholy which most of all dissembles. 
I must be short, and shorts the short'ned day, 
What winter hath to tell, now let him say.

 

Source: Anne Bradstreet And Her Time, By Helen Campbell, 1891


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